8 things we’d love to see from iPhone 15 (yes, already)
A wish list of our top iPhone features we want, with some rumours sprinkled in
We know, we know. The iPhone 14 series hasn’t long hit the shelves. But now that we’ve seen this year’s wares, there are still plenty of things we’d like to see from the iPhone 15 once September 2023 rolls around.
Some of our wants line-up with the gossip we’ve heard about next year’s devices, and others are purely gleaned from the warped minds of Team Stuff. What could be better?
1. We know it will be expensive
Or at least, we do if we believe the tweets of a prolific (but sometimes unreliable) Apple leaker known as LeaksApplePro. “iPhone 15 Ultra will cost substantially more to manufacture than iPhone 14 Pro Max,” they wrote in a below tweet. That cost will almost certainly be passed on to purchasers. The price for the iPhone 14 was raised over the previous model, outside of the US at least, and if we’re looking at another rise for next year’s flagship, that’s one pricey phone.
2. Everyone gets a visit to the Dynamic Island
This year’s iPhone 14 Pro devices debuted the Dynamic Island; Apple’s fancy term for the camera cut-out at the top of the display. Rather than just leaving a gap for the sensors, Apple has rolled the shaped into iOS. The Dynamic Island can expand to show widgets, timers, and quick controls. It’s like a mini multitasking bar for the iPhone.
Since Apple has clearly done a lot of work on Dynamic Island, we don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon. And we don’t want it to, either. Rather, we hope that all models in the iPhone 15 line-up get to visit the Dynamic Island. It’s time to get rid of the notch for good, including on lower-end devices.
We’d also expect some refinements to the Dynamic Island, and potentially some extra functionality too. Pinned widgets on the Island, anyone?
3. The return of Touch ID
As people have been masked up over the past couple of years, Face ID has shown a glaring flaw… it needs to see your face. Apple has implemented some workarounds, such as using the Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone, or even ignoring the mask on your face from iOS 15.4.
While these solutions have worked, Face ID being able to recognise you with a mask on does pose some security questions. If only there was another solution Apple already has up its sleeve…
What better time to bring Touch ID back to the iPhone, either under display or in the power button, like the latest iPad mini. It’s faster, more reliable, and beloved by everyone. Plus, if Apple includes both Face ID and Touch ID on the iPhone 15, it’ll be the most secure smartphone available on the market.
4. 8K video recording
For the past few iPhone releases, the rumour mill has churned out that 8K video recording is coming to the iPhone. We’re yet to see it in the iPhone, but it’s a massive “Yes please!” from us. With the new 48MP snapper included on the iPhone 14 Pro devices, we’ve never been closer to the camera tech we need for 8K video.
The iPhone is already the best smartphone for video recording, and 8K capabilities will just catapult the iPhone 15 to a whole new level. We’re beginning to see 8K displays become more commonplace, so it’s time you could record content to watch in all those crispy pixels.
5. Remove all the ports (yes, it’s time)
Perhaps controversially, it’s time for Apple to remove the ports from the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 15. Yes, we wanted this for the iPhone 14 too. Apple’s own Lightning connector can no longer cut it. USB-C holds the crown as the de-facto standard. It’s much faster, more efficient, and it’ll surely make its way to the iPhone next year – from 2024 the EU requires all charging ports to go to USB-C.
This is a tricky one to gauge. Some somewhat unlikely rumours expect Apple to remove the ports from the iPhone entirely, like it did the headphone jack with iPhone 7, and SIM tray with iPhone 14 but that would require a serious enhancement in the iPhone’s wireless charging capability. Others reckon the iPhone will simply don a USB-C port, just as Apple did with iPads and Macs. We wouldn’t be surprised if Apple eventually goes portless though.
Not everyone is a fan of this approach. Our resident Apple watcher and Stuff regular Craig Grannell wrote this piece earlier in the year about why a portless iPhone would be a bad thing. Add to that the fact it’s long been rumoured the iPhone 15 will ditch the classic volume and power buttons for capacitive sensors, and you have a pretty naked handset right there. These rumours may have recently been proven true, according to a supposed trusted render obtained by 9to5Mac.
The Apple Watch Series 7 showcased how Apple can recover devices without a port (previous Apple Watches had a diagnostic port). Could this pave the way to devices using a wireless connector for recovery? If you can charge, move files, and manually recover your iPhone all from MagSafe, why do we need the port? Granted, USB-C would be a lot faster.
Couple this with almost everyone using wireless headphones, eSIMs, and AirDrop, some do think it’s time to get rid of all the ports from the iPhone, once and for all. Let’s see Jonny Ive’s design aspiration for the iPhone come true.
6. Periscope cameras
Periscope camera technology involves multiple camera lenses at an angle, to decrease a smartphone camera’s size, improve zoom, and increase the megapixel count. We’ve seen Samsung’s flagships head up to 100x zoom! With others introducing the clever camera tech, we now want it to come to the iPhone.
Introducing a periscope camera on the iPhone 15 would allow Apple to finally remove the camera bump, match Samsung’s impressive zoom capabilities, and improve overall picture quality. The iPhone already boasts some of the best camera technology available, so why not add the latest-and-greatest as well?
Until periscope tech is confirmed, we have news from Nikkei that Sony Group will apparently supply the iPhone 15 with its top tier image sensor. According to Nikkei, Sony’s newest image sensor doubles the saturation signal in every pixel, which reduces overexposure or underexposure. In practice, that should stop photo subjects being drowned out by backlight.
7. iPhone on Subscription
According to reports, Apple is working on a subscription model for its hardware products, specifically the iPhone. With this subscription, you’d be renting an iPhone rather than buying it outright or paying it off over a contract.
With a subscription like this, you may actually end up saving money on your iPhone package. Apple could throw in all the bells and whistles too. Think your iPhone, AppleCare, and Apple One all in one monthly subscription.
Apple wouldn’t need any extra tech to make this work, and we’re still hearing that it could roll out later this year. While we’re not so sure Apple will get the service out in time for the iPhone 14 series, we see no reason this wouldn’t be ready to launch alongside the iPhone 15 next year.
8. A redesign please
You’ll notice that we didn’t include anything about the iPhone’s design or chipset. Early leaks of the iPhone 14 design from Jon Prosser showed the device returning to an iPhone 4-esque design. In more recent months, the consensus in the Apple community was that the redesign was pushed back to iPhone 15.
While we assume there might have been some changes since that original leak, we’d bet the camera bump will be reduced or removed, the SIM tray removed on all variants, and potentially there will be more tweaks to the Dynamic Island. No doubt the standard iPhone 15 will get this year’s A16 from the Pro, while the Pro will get a new chip.
One of the latest rumours suggests that Apple will switch to solid state buttons for the iPhone’s side buttons. Solid state buttons are ones that don’t actually move, like the Home Button on iPhone 7 onwards. Per the rumours, Apple will opt for these buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro (or Ultra) models. The regular models will be stuck with the standard buttons, unfortunately.
What does having solid state buttons actually mean for the iPhone 15? Without having the room for buttons to move, the mechanisms will take up less space inside the iPhone. It’s also one less part that could break, with the side buttons as part of the Self Service Repair program. Plus, it’ll make the device more water-resistant, with fewer openings for water to creep in.